Blooming Love: A Review of Vampire Blood Drive, by Mira Ong Chua

            It used to be that, in order to get your stories out in the world, a creator needed a publisher.  To get a publisher, you needed an agent, followed by a contract.  As many writers and artists know, just having the talent and the drive is not always enough.  Sometimes it can come down to luck, or connections, or simply perseverance.  However, the internet changed all of that, providing way after way for creators to develop their work and get it in the world independently.  Books can be self-published, and there are even websites to help you design basic covers.  Further, the advent of crowdfunding has provided a source of freedom and a revenue stream, letting creators make some money to focus on their work.  For anyone looking to print copies of their books, crowdfunding can provide the much-needed funds to hire a printer.  Do well on a crowdfunded project, and your new fans will spread the word, helping to bolster future projects.  While there are the stories of crowdfunded projects failing to get off the ground or misleading backers, it has overall been a boon for creativity.

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Graduation: A Review of Goodbye, Battle Princess Peony, by Mira Ong Chua

Comic books are an overlooked form of storytelling when it comes to literary discussions, with most of the conversation revolving around the books put out there by the large publishers.  Comic books struggle with a reputation tied to superheroes in the United States, but it only takes looking at the indie art scene, or the books published in other parts of the world, to see the real potential of the comic book and graphic novel forms. Rather than reading exposition describing a city, a talented artist can show it to us through spreads and background art.  Authors do not have to struggle with trying to accurately convey what emotion a character is feeling when it can be drawn on the page.  A good artist can convey pages worth of narration in a single frame.  There are so many good comic books out there, in a multitude of genres, and the subject of today’s review is here to prove just how impactful and engrossing a comic can be.

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Immolation – A Review of The Fire Never Goes Out: A Memoir in Pictures, by Noelle Stevenson

Memoir; from the French mémoire.  A memory.  Unlike a biography, which tends to be a relatively straightforward look at a person’s life, a memoir consists of their collected memories.  It may be presented in chronological order, order of most importance, or how each memory leads into the next.  As long as people have been committing words to writing, they have written memoirs.  From the ancient world, to the modern, memoirs have only grown in popularity as a way to pass down one’s own legacy.  Not all of us are destined to become legendary poets and writers, many people are forgotten as time passes.  But a memoir can be an extension of a life.  The Fire Never Goes Out: A Memoir in Pictures is what is known as a graphic memoir containing both her words and her artwork in a masterful combination.

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